Diabetes Canada encourages people who want to donate used clothing at one of their clothing bins, but have too much for the bin to handle, to contact them and arrange a free home pick up. This one at the corner of Somenos Road and Highway 18 was spotted last week. (Submitted photo)

YOUR SAY: Who is responsible for clothing donation bin messes?

Cowichan’s clothing donation bin system is not working, according to those willing to share their opinions on social media. Why they aren’t working is still up for debate — on Facebook anyway.

The Citizen published a story recently featuring local resident Rhonda Groicher who said the bins always seem to be overflowing.

In the story, Diabetes Canada spokeswoman Kathleen Powderley said if people have too many clothes for the bins to handle, the non-profit organization has a free home pick-up service that can be reached at declutter.diabetes.ca

SEE RELATED: People urged not to leave donated clothes outside of Cowichan bins

But some believe it’s not the do-gooders that are over-stuffing the bins at all, but instead it’s the ne’er-do-wells helping themselves and then not cleaning up afterward.

“We used to have a donation bin house by our home. Thieves with long sticks came by nearly every day to steal from them…leaving the items and clothes they did not want..on the ground,” wrote Gaynor Bonar-Brochie. “These bins need to be collected every single day to stop that.”

“I’ve seen a couple homeless [people] taking stuff out to try on,” added Michelle Hawes.

“People rummage through them, STEALING, and leave what they don’t want, and keep what they do, AND SELL THEM, as well,” wrote Kathleen Louise Cerquozzi.

Others believe people just find it’s convenient to dump all of their unwanted junk there.

“I used to work at Woodgrove Mall in Nanaimo. We had to have these removed because people were using them as a dump after moving or just leaving things like paint cans and old furniture , TVs, printers, etc. beside the bins. It got to be a daily battle cleaning up the bin area. At night, no one is monitoring and as soon as it gets wet everything is landfill anyway,” wrote Betty Lou Riel.

While some respondents called for more volunteers and more regular emptying of the bins, others suggested skipping the bins altogether and taking your items elsewhere.

“Big Brothers/Sisters — will come and pick it up,” wrote David Walker.

“Warmland Shelter is very grateful to receive clothing. Men’s especially, but they will also accept women’s and children’s,” added Tammy Gurski. “Whatever they don’t use they pass on to a local church that resources them out to the community. I am always welcomed and offered helping hands at the Warmland Shelter.”

“It’s very sad,” wrote Darlene Knott. “All the bins I drive by lately are just a huge mess. What is wrong with people.”

Sarah Crisp summed up the relative complexity of the situation

“If they put a number to call ‘Call when the bin is full’ it would help a LOT,” she wrote. “But then you can’t stop people being dumb and leaving it out. Think about how much it costs the charity to clear up and get rid of the dirty sodden clothes that don’t fit in the bin? We have one near our home and you see all sorts of household stuff there too, even though it clearly says clothes only. So sad as it undoes all the work of those who have used them properly.”

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